You can make twice the impact with a double red cell
donation and help more patients in need.
What is a double red cell donation?
A double red cell donation is one where a donor safely and
comfortably donates two units of red cells in just one sitting. Through
an automated process, your red blood cells are separated from the
other blood components. Two units of red cells are collected while
your plasma and platelets are returned to you.
Why should I donate double red cells?
- Red blood cells are the most transfused blood component and
are frequently given to trauma and surgery patients.
- You can make twice the difference by giving two units of red
cells instead of one.
- You can maximize your donations with fewer appointments.
Double red cell donors can donate every 112 days, up to three
times a year, versus every 56 days for whole blood donors.
- It may be a more comfortable donation for you, as a smaller
needle is used.
- Some donors report feeling better after giving double red cells
compared with other donation types because other blood
components and saline are returned to the donor during the
Am I eligible to give double red cells?
- If you are a donor with O negative, O positive, A negative or B
negative blood, we encourage you to consider making a double
red cell donation, as these blood types are often in demand and
can be in short supply.
- O negative blood donors are considered ‘Universal Blood
Donors’. Your blood can be transfused to patients with any
other blood type and is often used in emergency situations.
- If your last whole blood donation was at least 56 days ago and
you meet the additional qualifications specific to double red cell
donation shown here, you may be eligible to donate double red cells.
Tips for a successful donation:
- Eat a diet high in iron-rich foods a few days prior to donating.
- Drink an extra 16 ounces of water or other non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages prior to donating to ensure you are well-hydrated.
- Relax and think about the positive contribution you are making for the
patients and families who rely on generous blood donors like you.
Anything else I should know?
- Double red cell donation takes about 20-30 minutes longer than regular
blood donation, so please allow a little extra time.
- Your Red Cross collections team member is a knowledgeable resource
to answer any questions you may have. You can also call 1-800-RED CROSS
(1-800-733-2767) or find more information on redcrossblood.org.
- In the long run, double red cell donation can save you time, with fewer
trips to the blood center and fewer calls to donate.